The History of modern Egypt is generally accepted as beginning in 1882, when Egypt became a de facto British colony. This situation persisted until 1922 when Egypt was officially granted independence; British troops, however, remained in the country and true self-rule did not occur until 1952 with the rise to power of Colonel Gamal Abdul Nasser. Nasser's one party state has seen many changes but has remained in place, firstly under Anwar Sadat, and until the present day under Hosni Mubarak.
In 1882 forces of opposition to European control led to growing tension amongst native notables, the most dangerous opposition coming from the army. A large military demonstration in September 1881 forced the Khedive Tawfiq to dismiss his Prime Minister. In April of 1882 France and Great Britain sent warships to Alexandria to bolster the Khedive amidst a turbulent climate, spreading fear of invasion throughout the country. Tawfiq moved to Alexandria for fear of his own safety as army officers led by Ahmed Urabi began to take control of the government. By June Egypt was in the hands of nationalists opposed to European domination of the country. A British naval bombardment of Alexandria had little effect on the opposition which led to the landing of a British expeditionary force at both ends of the Suez Canal in August 1882.
The British succeeded in defeating the Egyptian Army at Tell El Kebir in September and took control of the country putting Tawfiq back in control. The purpose of the invasion had been to restore political stability to Egypt under a government of the Khedive and international controls which were in place to streamline Egyptian financing since 1876. It is unlikely that the British expected a long-term occupation from the outset, however Lord Cromer, Britain's Chief Representative in Egypt at the time, viewed Egypt's financial reforms as part of a long-term objective. Cromer took the view that political stability needed financial stability, and embarked on a programme of long term investment in Egypt's productive resources, above all in the cotton economy, the mainstay of the country's export earnings. This marked the beginning of British military occupation of Egypt that lasted until 1936.
In 1906 the Denshawai incident provoked a questioning of British rule in Egypt.
In 1914 as a result of the declaration of war with the Ottoman Empire, of which Egypt was nominally a part, Britain declared a Protectorate over Egypt and deposed the Khedive, replacing him with a family member who was made Sultan of Egypt by the British. A group known as the Wafd Delegation attended the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 to demand Egypt's independence. Included in the group was political leader, Saad Zaghlul, who would later become Prime Minister. When the group was arrested and deported to the island of Malta, a huge uprising occurred in Egypt.